After a three-year economic downturn, restaurants are poised to make a comeback in 2011. Industry experts forecast a record $604B in sales for the year, a 3.6% increase over 2010. However, food prices and other operating cost increases remain a challenge in this market, as do customer expectations regarding continued prices discounts. Additionally, with the advent of social media, fully one-quarter of customers will share a poor dining experience with their friends through Facebook, Twitter or other “instant” communications channels, so customer service is at a premium.
From our vantage point, Argo sees that the big opportunity in this sector is the chance to gain share in a rebounding market. To achieve this goal, operators must provide a positive customer experience while minimizing food waste, maximizing labor utilization and controlling all other costs. Since restaurants have offered price “deals” over the recent years to lure customers, finding a way to exist without passing on cost increases provides a unique challenge.
Argo applies a holistic transformation approach by combining and enhancing some of the worlds best operational tools and philosophies such as Lean, Six Sigma, VA/VE and the Theory of Constraints. Argo understands how operations support business strategy.
Our approach helps Restaurant clients focus operations for better alignment with strategy achieving sustainable results by:
- Improving overall labor performance while increasing retention.
- Implementing simple forecasting methods to minimize food waster while increasing customer service levels.
- Creating and rolling out standardized processes across multiple operations.
- Enhancing performance management systems that provide restaurant leadership with real time performance visibility.
- Using training and follow-up techniques to ensure that desired behaviors such as safety and customer service practices become ingrained in organizational culture.
Our global team of consultants has a depth of technical operations expertise and a proven track record of leading and implementing successful transformations. Our people bring a wide range of professional experience from some of the most operationally excellent companies in the world.
We diagnose areas of waste, variability, and inefficiency in the operating system and then redesign, and implement, not just the new production system, but also the management structure that improves the bottom line and ensures accountability and sustainability. By working hand-in-hand with our client’s employees, we ensure the buy-in from the senior leadership team all the way to the front line employee, leaving behind a new culture, mindsets and behaviors.
We look deeply and broadly, not just at operational processes, but also into all functions and dynamics to leverage opportunities for improvement, including R&D, Marketing & Sales, supplier influences, inventory, setup reduction, standard work, back office and interfaces between departments.